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Using Action Essentials to create gun shot blood splatter.

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  • Using Action Essentials to create gun shot blood splatter.

    I am directing a script where an actor gets shot, and was thinking of using Action Essentials II to simulate the splatter effect.

    However, the blood splatter is only like two frames, and then all of a sudden it's gone, so I would have to put blood on the actors shirt, and then cut together in the edit. But the practical blood, doesn't look anything like the blood in action essentials, and you can tell it's an obvious mismatch. The gunshot looks real enough I guess, but how do you hold the effect to make it like he is still shot, since I still want the character to be alive after?

  • #2
    I can't say I know much about Action Essentials, but I have worked with practical blood before.
    The blood you made was most likely more realistic than the AE effect. What you could do is make the practical blood look more like the AE, maybe using a large amount of food coloring to match the high intensity redness, and maybe changing the formula to something thicker.
    Hope that somehow helps you.

    Good Luck on your film!


    • #3
      Okay thanks. Or maybe since you no about practical blood is there a way to simulate a gunshot, so that I won't have to use Action Essentials, but a way that doesn't involve squibs?


      • #4
        Yeah, there totally is. Start out with a small ball of molding wax (Exact size depends on the size of the gunshot you want) and apply it to the skin using liquid latex or some other adhesive. Sort of flatten it out into a low conical shape and try to get the edges as smooth as you can.
        Then you can use a pencil or something (I've used the pointy end of a pair of sissors before) to make the wound.
        After that apply several layers of foundation around and over the wound, making the edges seamless.
        Brush on some dark eyeliner around the gunshot to simulate bruising, and some black eyeliner for the inside.

        After that, the last step would be to brush whatever blood you are using onto the wound. Adding a little Vaseline makes it more shiny.


        • #5
          However for a shirt you should fold the part where the shot will be and cut out a jagged hole (and afterwards maybe using a knife to make it less clean cut). Then just apply the blood however you want (wether that's pouring, splattering, or brushing).


          • #6
            Oh okay. For the actual shot though, I would still have to use Action Essentials or something CGI like that, right?


            • #7
              I had honestly never heard or used of a practical non-explosive method. But then I did some searching and found a DIY tutorial designed by Gareth Evans and a crew member that is Completely Free of explosive squibs (it is a very different sort of squib), and is fairly cheap.
              I'll paste it below (Unfortunately I am not able to post links because of my newness to the forum)

              Step 1) buy a condom (or just a pack).

              Step 2) wash the lubricant off in a bucket of water and soap.

              Step 3) tie a knot in one end (not the opening)

              Step 4) using a syringe pour blood into the condom.

              Step 5) tie a knot at the top end - make it tight so there is some air pressure in the body of the condom.

              Step 6) put a spot of superglue on the surface of the condom to make it harden.

              Step 7) cut a square of bandage tape

              Step 8) thread black fishing wire through the small square of bandage tape - leave at least 2 meters of wire spare.

              Step 9) Superglue the bandage tape to the hardened spot of the condom.

              Step 10) strap a bandage around the actor in the position of the wound.

              Step 11) using the spare ends of the condom (those knots) attach the condom to the bandage.

              Step 12) cut an X shaped hole in the clothing.

              Step 13) feed the black fishing wire through the hole.

              He finishes the instructions with: Finally, when the moment comes for the squib to burst either have someone off camera pull the string (it will burst beautifully) Or have the string tight and have the actor fall, twist or fall so the timing of the burst matches with the reaction of the performer. Also works for knife slashes (attach the string to the handle of the swinging knife). More importantly it allows the camera to stay wide and for actors to move freely with no tubing.

              And then remembers to give credit to his crew member who came up with the process:

              Must share credit with [at]KumKum1212 for the design of this technique. So if you use it please be sure to thank her :)

              Gareth Evans ([at]ghuwevans) April 2, 2013


              • #8
                Okay thanks, this is really interesting. But I am kind of lost. How is the fish wire suppose to burst the condom exactly? It seems to me that it will pull on the condom, but not make it burst.

                But I don't know if I necessarily have to show blood to sell the effect of being shot maybe. What about the gunshot in this clip at 3:30 into the clip:


                They don't show blood but something else ripping out of the actor's clothes, on his collar. What do you think they did there?
                Last edited by ironpony; 06-28-2017, 08:34 PM.


                • #9
                  Why do you think that isn't blood?

                  Why don't you mix the digital effect with practical one by adjusting the color of the digital effect?


                  • #10
                    It just didn't look like blood, cause it looked grey instead of red, and there was no spritz on his face from the gunshot wound. But I could be wrong.

                    But even if I try mixing the digital with practical but even if I adjust the color, the splatter is inconsistent cause all of a sudden the digital blood disappears, and the practical blood appears on the shirt, but in a different way. It's not just about the color, it just looks like it's not part of the same shot at all.

                    I think that the digital effect works fine, if it's a character who gets shot and the camera cuts away right after, and you don't see that character again. But when it's the main character such as this case, it's very obvious when the digital effect goes away, and the practical effect appears.

                    I can keep trying the condom and fishing wire idea, but the condom is hard to break so far.
                    Last edited by ironpony; 06-29-2017, 07:09 AM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ironpony View Post
                      It just didn't look like blood, cause it looked grey instead of red, and there was no spritz on his face from the gunshot wound. But I could be wrong.



                      I won't even debate this.
                      Blood is red. Yes.
                      I won't mention color theory or color palette.
                      Just cut yourself in a dark room and see how bright red blood is.

                      You apply the same color logic as my 6 year old niece, lol.


                      • #12
                        Okay I see. The blood doesn't look red, cause of the lighting and color of the scene to begin with. But even if I change the color of the action essentials blood, there is still the matter of the splat pattern not matching, with the practical blood and the AE blood.

                        I am not sure how to get the spatter pattern to match, cause when the AE blood goes off, no blood splatters on the persons shirt and I have to put that in after. But when I put the blood on the shirt after, it doesn't match and there is an inconsistency. It's not just the color, it's how the blood looks in general from shot to shot. There is probably more I can do, just not sure what.

                        I can keep trying the fishing wire and condom idea...
                        Last edited by ironpony; 06-29-2017, 08:54 AM.


                        • #13
                          One of many reasons you have been told to keep things simpler.
                          You are trying to learn the craft of filmmaking, but you just can't get started on the basics because you get caught up in advanced technical stuff.
                          Make sure to test whatever you want to use before shooting the actual thing.


                          • #14
                            For sure thanks. I just want to get do good. The script says that the character gets shot, so I want to do my best at producing that. But at the same time, yes I don't want to overcomplicate things, if need be.

                            I'm going to test out the squib idea, and if that doesn't work, I will go with the AE as best I can and try to make it match, if that's the best approach. If it works I'll be sure to credit that person in the movie :)
                            Last edited by ironpony; 06-29-2017, 03:16 PM.